As the power of the Cloud expands, so does the technology available to companies across the world. Current cloud phone systems are busting with features that help your business run more efficiently and help you better manage your company. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) auto attendant is one feature that’s become especially useful for businesses. This feature prompts the caller with voice messages and received input from the touch tone keys.
But if you’re new to cloud technology, how do you know if you should ditch your phone operator and take advantage of this feature? In this article we’ll answer that question and dive into the pros and cons of IVR to help your company make a decision.
IVR/Auto Attendant vs Phone Operator
An IVR auto attendant is prevalent in a cloud-based or Internet-based phone system. The automated system is what your customers reach when they call you. It runs of a series of prompts based on what your customer enters until your customer reaches the department or employee needed.
If you’re not using this feature, you likely have a phone operator working for you. This employee answers your phone, talks to your customers and directs their calls as needed. The receptionist or phone operator provides person-to-person service to your customers, but that individual may not be able to respond to customer inquiries as the first point of contact.
Pros of an IVR Auto Attendant
The best thing about an IVR auto attendant is that it’s most likely paired with a cloud-based phone system. This phone system offers a variety of other features as well, such as call recording and call forwarding. This type of system is also remotely accessible, meaning you can run a global business and provide flexible service to your customers.
The IVR feature is so popular because it’s a more efficient option compared to a phone operator. Because it runs on an Internet-based phone system, it answers calls 24/7, something that a live person can’t necessary do. It’s also efficient because it quickly directs a call based on a single prompt, rather than your customers or prospects having to talk with a series of people before getting to the department or person they actually need to address their questions.
Compared to a person you pay to answer all incoming calls, an IVR auto attendant is extremely cost effective. If it’s part of your featured-packed phone system, the cost is insignificant.
Cons of an IVR Auto Attendant
The one con that’s often talked about in connection with an IVR auto attendant is that it takes human interaction out of customer service. Callers must first go through a series of automated prompts before they reach an employee. Some callers may appreciate the efficiency of this system but others may miss the person-to-person interactions.
Since an IVR runs over the Internet as part of a phone system, if it goes offline, so does this feature. That’s important to keep in mind but that’s not really different than a person answering the phone. You’d experience the same thing with a standard phone operator if your phone lines went down.
Which option is right for your company? Should you use an IVR auto attendant? Or should you keep your phone operator? The answer is: it depends. Every company has to make the decision for themselves. Explore your needs as a company and keep your customers’ concerns in mind to help you come to the right decision.